Today, ahead of E3 event, Google revealed more information about Stadia—their brand-new cloud-based video game platform. We now know its price, availability, and the first wave of launch titles. However, before we take a look at today’s announcements, let’s first get a refresher on what it is.
What exactly is Stadia?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that Stadia isn’t a new console. Instead, it’s an advanced game streaming platform that brings together the people who love to play games and the gamers that love to watch them.
So, what does that mean for you the gamer? It means there is no physical box that you need to buy to play games on. Instead, you’ll have instant access to your games on any TV, laptop, mobile phone, desktop or tablet. So long to game downloads, installs, updates and patches.
And, Stadia has support for keyboard and mouse combos on laptops and desktops. In addition, there is support for some of your favourite USB controllers you currently own as well as Stadia’s own dedicated controller. Simply put, Stadia is an online service that allows you to play games anywhere you have an internet connection on any screen you have.
What you need to get started
Stadia officially launches this November in 14 countries around world and those looking to be among the first to play can do so with the Stadia Founder’s Edition package. This package retails for $169 and includes everything that you will need to play games on your TV screen.
Here is what you get:
- Limited-edition Night Blue Stadia controller
- Chromecast Ultra
- 3-month Stadia Pro subscription
- First dibs on Stadia gamer tag name
- One 3-month Buddy Pass to give Stadia Pro to a friend
If you already own a Chromecast Ultra, you can simply purchase a Stadia controller or use a supported controller (Xbox, PlayStation etc.) and grab a Stadia Pro subscription. More on the Pro subscription below.
As you can see, the Founder’s Edition includes a Stadia Pro 3-month subscription. The Pro subscription costs $11.99 a month and is required at launch. This allows gamers to experience games with up to 4K resolution, 60fps, HDR and 5.1 surround sound. Moreover, the Pro subscription gives you access to a catalogue of free games, and gets you discounts on games that you can purchase.
Furthermore, for a limited time, Pro subscribers will have access to the fully Destiny 2 experience. This includes the base game, all add-ons, the new Shadowkeep expansion and annual pass.
Coming in 2020, Google will add a tier with no cost called Stadia Base. This tier allows you to stream games up to 1080p, 60fps and stereo sound. Additionally, you’ll be able to play games in a Chrome browser on any computer and on Pixel 3 or 3a phones—expanding to other phones over time.
First wave of launch games announced
Google has secured some of the best publishers and game development studios from around the world to make games for Stadia. Over 30 games were announced from 3rd party studios spanning a wide variety of genres. Here is a list of announced 3rd party launch games, with more to come:
- Bandai Namco – Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
- Bethesda – DOOM Eternal, DOOM 2016, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wolfenstein: Youngblood
- Bungie – Destiny 2
- Coatsink – Get Packed (exclusive)
- Codemasters – GRID
- Deep Silver – Metro Exodus
- Drool – Thumper
- Giants Software – Farming Simulator 19
- Larian Studios – Baldur’s Gate 3 (exclusive for now)
- nWay Games – Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
- Sega – Football Manager
- SNK – Samurai Shodown
- Square Enix – Final Fantasy XV, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- 2K – NBA 2K, Borderlands 3
- Tequila Works – Gylt (exclusive)
- Warner Bros – Mortal Kombat 11
- THQ – Darksiders Genesis
- Ubisoft – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s Breakpoint Ghost Recon, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Trials Rising, The Crew 2
Furthermore, Capcom, Electronic Arts, and Rockstar are all making games, which will be announced at a later date. Here is a trailer from one of the exclusive titles, Gylt a single player puzzle adventure game.
Stadia is poised to change the way we play and consume video games
I’m excited to get my hands-on Stadia this November. While the platform still has a lot to prove, I’m willing to give it a fair chance. I’m curious to see what games will include with a Stadia Pro subscription and how often games will be added to the catalogue.
Google’s new platform is a vast departure from how we have been accustomed to consuming video games and with that comes a lot of skepticism. With that being said, I believe that today’s announcement shows that Google is serious about making Stadia a success.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.